Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Pride, Shame and Debauchery in the Emerald City

- Today I received from the American Jewish Committee an update on the Salah Choudhury situation. Apparently the Moral Courage Award has been handed out to Mr Choudhury. What fills me personally with anger is that my government is lavishing vast amounts of taxpayer's money (called development funds) on a country that abuses its citizens, is stifling freedom and tends to follow the ranks of what is now termed a new political system in the Islamic world that will prove to be every bit as bad as its predecessors. Here's the article in yesterday's Daily Star of Lebanon in re of National Islamism (make a mental note; I don't think we've heard the first and the last of this).
It is not too late to sign the petition for the life of Salah Choudhury! The link can be found here on the left hand side column or see the relevant articles.

Here's the story on the Award:

Shoaib Salah Choudhury expressed deep appreciation to AJC for sending its Moral Courage Award to him through the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh. "When I brought the plaque to my residence, my family was extremely delighted to see it. We have placed the plaque with respect in our living room, where the guests will have the opportunity of seeing it. Each time I see it, it gives me a kind of divine inspiration. And, every time, I remember especially Mr. David Harris and our friend Yehudit Barsky for kindly choosing me as the recipient of the award." AJC had attempted to honor Choudhury at the Centennial Annual Meeting in May 2006, but he was prevented from leaving Bangladesh and is now on trial for sedition because of his efforts to foster dialogue with Jews, to visit Israel and his opposition to radical Islam in Bangladesh. His trial is set to resume on January 22.

- On a similar note how Islamic countries are misusing so-called development funds against their benefactors. Lebanon's Daily Star has a report how Egypt is funding Al Qa'ida's P.R. requirements.

- This post isn't about a so-called "Peace Mum" who is exploiting the death of her son for narrow party political gains in a shameless fashion. Present pastime is proof she's also an activist and is displaying very awkward bereavement reactions.

- Here we have a worthy, except if you happen to be Venezuelan, in which case my commiserations. After Tony Blair's socialism by a third way proved to be unadulterated Tory politics, it seems that Hugo Chavez a.k.a. The Clown of the Caribbean, is now trying to get it done in yet a fourth manner. How many more ways do they need to concede at last that socialism doesn't work?!

- According to the E.U. Observer Spain and Luxemburg are calling for "pride" in the Constitution. They are right: pride is so much more important than acknowledging your religious, historical and cultural roots of two millennia! Pride is P.C., pride is neutral, pride is good (provided it doesn't lead to nationalistic tendencies, in which case we'll break out in a terrible rash: wait till the 21st and you'll see).

- The theme of today's post seems to be shame and pride. Here's one for the shame category: Recently I have been writing how the New Europe, the former East Block, is treated by Old Europe, which is an indecent shame. Al-Guardian provides us today with an excellent example. (What an awful rag is that! And me thinking the New Rotterdam Courant was the pits!)

-'s columnist Star Parker is on the case of the defense of Oprah! Good for her! I'm so proud of her!

- Back to shame (and a bit of fun thrown in): journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post has published a book. It's all about the debauched life of the Americans in the Green Zone in Baghdad during the first year of the U.S. occupation. It's called Imperial Life in the Emerald City. In a recent interview on CNN he clarified the trouveille as follows: 'emerald' refers to the Green Zone (emeralds are green, you must know) and the Americans were displaying 'imperial' attitudes: they were sitting in Saddam's palaces, eating pork in the middle of an Islamic capital!

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